LOS ANGELES (CN) – Lions Gate TV claims a production company bailed on its contractual obligation to help produce a Paris Hilton “reality show” in Dubai, and left Lions Gate to foot the bill. The show was to be called “Paris Hilton’s New BFF, Dubai” and was to be broadcast throughout the Middle East, according to the federal complaint.
Lions Gate claims it entered a multimillion-dollar agreement with Uniqon Emirates, its chairman Abdulla al Falasi and its managing Director Ehab Habib, in 2009. But Uniqon turned out to be “a mere shell and sham, without capital, assets, stock or stockholders,” Lions Gate says.
The agreement called for a $6 million dollar budget, with Lions Gate paying $1.5 million U.S. and Uniqon paying the rest. Falasi and Habib, agreed to produce at least eight 60-minute episodes, according to the complaint.
But Lions Gate says Uniqon failed to pay the day-to-day expenses needed to keep the production running. Lions Gate says it was forced to cover those expenses, putting in $5.4 million beyond its $1.5 million obligation.
Lions Gate claims that at “no time after Uniqon became incorporated was any stock authorized to be issued, nor has any permit for issuance of stock been applied for with the granting authority.”
Uniqon was “a mere shell, instrumentality, and conduit” through which Falasi and Habib “carried on their personal business,” the complaint states.
Lions Gate seeks damages with interest for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.
The complaint does not state how the Dubai series turned out. It says it was intended as part of “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF” television series.
BFF stands for Best Friends Forever.
Lions Gate is represented by Roy Koletsky.